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I am a planner. I just might be a bit of a perfectionist too. When we found out we were expecting our first child, lots of questions went through my mind – Would we be good parents? Could I handle childbirth? Oh my gosh, what happens if something happens to both of us?! Should I create a will? How do we do that?
Were some of my thoughts a bit negative? Yep. Maybe it was the pregnancy hormones. Maybe I’m a pessimist. But I think I’m a realist. I like to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best!
The minute I realized I was pregnant, my brain shifted into overdrive. It was one thing being single. It was another when I was married and thinking about one other person. But now a little person too? We had some serious planning to do!
First, Andrew and I looked at our life insurance situation. We made changes based on our current situation. (Sidebar…If you or your spouse is a teacher I highly recommend looking into Horace Mann. They have great rates on all insurance options. No affiliate or compensation there, just my honest-to-goodness opinion.)
Next we set up a will. I’m not going to lie – this was not easy! We had to agree who would take care of any children we had. We also needed to decide who would be second in case that person couldn’t or wouldn’t be able to care for our child/ren. There was a LOT of discussion that took place before we even went to the attorney because she gave us some things to consider beforehand. Even more discussion took place in her office, and yet more discussion took place again once we got home.
Our attorney told us it’s better to set up a will before your children are born. She said there’s less clouding your judgment. It’s an interesting concept…
When we finally had the paperwork done, we had to go into the lawyer’s again to sign everything. This part was pretty painless, unless the part about our pocketbook. I knew it would cost us to set this up, but I guess I hadn’t done my research on how much. If I had looked at this website I would have know the cost can be anything from $0 to $1,000 or more.
When we got home from signing the final paperwork, we had more decisions to make. Should we tell our family of our choices?
We decided not to tell anyone who would end up with custody of our child/ren in case the worst would happen. Why? We didn’t feel the need to upset everyone!
Yes, we told people we set up a will. Yes, we told them where they could find it. But, no, even when they asked – we did not tell them who would have custody of our kids.
We chose the person we did based on who we felt would raise our child/ren the way we would. We spent many hours – and a few tears – agonizing over this decision. It’s not a pleasant conversation. Talk about your own death and planning for it are not “fun” topics.
One thing I still want to do is to write a letter to each of our family members explaining why we did or did not pick them. My hope is that these letters would help our family deal if tragedy were to ever strike. Obviously if they ever need to use our will, it’s because the worst has happened to both Andrew and I. While we hope this never comes to be, I’m glad I have the peace of mind in knowing that we set up a will to ensure our current child (and future children?) the best future possible!
Should I create a will? That’s for you to decide! But I hope our story has given you food for thought to help you make your decision. Good luck!
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